Prepare your holiday meal with some inspiration from Leah Kirchmann who has kindly shared with Canadian Cycling Magazine four of her favourite festive recipes. First up, a delicious butternut squash soup.

Leah Kirchmann’s tourtièrefestive black bean brownies, and rotkohl

Homemade Autumn Butternut Squash Soup with Bread

by Leah Kirchmann

I love any kind of soup during the cold winter months and butternut squash soup is one of my go-to recipes. A perfect way to warm up your dinner guests if you are just getting back from a ride.

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1 large butternut squash
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 shallot, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)

RELATED: 4 strategies for staying summer lean all winter


1. Heat oven to 425 F, cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

2. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the cut sides of the squash and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking tray.

3. Bake until squash is very soft and edges are caramelized. Depending on size between 45 to 90 minutes.

4. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add chopped shallots.

5. Cook for a few minutes then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute while stirring.

6. Add squash (removed from skin), maple syrup and other spices.

7. Add 3 cups of broth. Use an immersion blender to mix everything until completely smooth, or transfer soup in small batches to a countertop blender.

8. Add more stock until desired consistency is reached and adjust spices to taste.

Optional: serve topped with chopped cilantro and fresh ground pepper.

RELATED: 4 strategies for staying summer lean all winter


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